April 6th, 1999, 6:30 PM, CASA DEL PRADO- RM 104
Orchids You Can Grow Outdoors By Chris Herndon, 2nd VP
We are fortunate to have Harry Tolen, our longtime former newsletter editor, talk about growing orchids outdoors for this month's novice class. Harry, who owns Chula Orchids in Chula Vista, has a lot of experience growing different types of orchids outdoors ranging from Cattleyas to Oncidiums.
Last month, Bind Close and Alma Marosz gave an informative and timely presentation on preparing plants for displays in shows. They brought in several "neglected" plants and demonstrated how to clean them up. Thank you Bud and Alma for your time and efforts. Please come and as always bring in any questions you might have with you!!!
THIS MONTH'S GENERAL MEETING
Last month we had an excellent presentation by George Kenner of Kenner and Sons Orchids, titled "An Overview of Australian Orchids'. Almost in series fashion we have another Australian Orchids presenter, this time from Sydney, Australia. David Banks will be on US tour starting with the SDCOS. He has a presentation for us named "Australian Terrestrial Orchids" The beautiful pert of the Australian Orchids is that since their growing environment is so similar to Southern California we can relate to anything Australian. David provided this background for us:
David P. Banks is from Sydney, Australia, and has been growing orchids for almost 30 years, since the age of five. He is a qualified orchid judge with the Australian Orchid Council, and the current editor of the Australasian Native Orchid Society. He has had over 90 papers relating to orchids published since 1980. In 1998, David was appointed editor of the series -Australian Orchid Research, the scientific publication of the Australian Orchid Foundation. David has frequently written for Orchids Australia, where he served five years as editorial consultant, and his acclaimed photographs appear in this and other domestic and international journals. He has conducted three successful international lecture tours and has been invited on another tour of Canada and the USA in April - May 1999, in conjunction with the World Orchid Conference in Vancouver. David's first book, Tropical Orchids of Southeast Asia, was published in 1999.
Dave Reid of Reid's Orchids is providing plants for the Plant Opportunity Table. Do yourself a favor and visit Reid's Orchids impressive nursery, just north of Escondido, at your earliest opportunity. Dave says he will provide Cattleyas, Epidendrum hybrids and Dendrobiums, including some Noble types. (Remember-you can spend your Orchid Bucks for raffle tickets!)
Dear Orchid Friends,
I hope you all saw the big 'Orchid Oasis' show because it was truly spectacular! Our annual event is one of the few big West Coast shows put on entirely by volunteers. It's a favorite with both visitors and exhibitors.
Bud Close, our Show Chairman and Cindy Hill, Assistant Show Chairman, really did a fine job of organizing the troops so that everything ran smoothly. The banquet Saturday night was fun and the food was delicious. It was a good opportunity to enjoy the fruits of all the labors expended to put on such a big event. We relaxed, socialized and enjoyed good orchid conversation.
The one sad note was the passing of longtime volunteer Marge Anderson. She had been a member of SDCOS for over 30 years and was a fixture at the corsage booth. She had held many jobs over the years including secretary. A memorial service was held for her February 27.
It's now officially Spring. Time to attend to our beloved orchids as they begin to put out new growth. A checklist on page ten provides us some inspiration and direction. Esther Sivila's new column, 'Orchid Talk', starts off defining some orchid terms we may not be familiar with. Also inside you'll find updates on the conservation projects we sponsor, including one here in San Diego County. I'm really enjoying all the support in the form of articles and ideas from our members. it's heartening to be part of such a large group with so many people willing to give of their time and energy. I thank each of you and continue to welcome articles and ideas. I look forward to seeing you at April's meeting.
AS THE ORCHID OASIS DUST SETTLES...
As this issue goes to press, we have just taken down the final table, carried out the last plant, swept up the last bit of bark...the Orchid Oasis show has ended. And what a great show it was! Over 8,000 people came through the door in 21 hours. They were treated to grand displays, some the most creative in years. A personal favorite was the tropical paradise dreamed up by the Maharlika Group, which included a stunning hand painted backdrop, palm trees made from yuccas, and a waterfall tumbling into a pond with live goldfish! Visitors also saw orchids gracing a steaming volcano, a harem tent, a 'San Diego back yard', a desert scene overseen by a hungry vulture, reflecting ponds, and a 'Real Man's Oasis'.
Weather cooperated with us this spring, and quite a few more plants were brought in for bench judging this year than last. The Cymbidiums were especially magnificent. Besides ribbon and trophy awards, seven of our members received coveted AOS / CSA recognition for plants and exhibits. As for the Sales Room...our Vendors were happily deluged by a steady crowd of customers who came to shop, and who shopped, and shopped. One vendor had brought 500 plants to sell...by Sunday morning, only 20 plants remained. Our SDCOS booth sold donated plants and brought in over $5024.00 (is that the highest ever?.); these funds will support Society conservation efforts.
Of the many improvements in the show this year, by far the most popular was our new Plant Hotel. We checked in 1,257 bags, plants, and boxes for grateful and relieved customers. Vendors told us their customers were buying plants, then coming back and getting more, simply because they had a place to store their first purchases. Visitors went back in to look at the Displays, knowing their purchases were safe. Some very special Society members came through for us at the last minute, volunteering for Hotel duty when the Girl Scouts couldn't come, and made it fly. We will definitely offer this service again next year.
The Show came together as an entertaining, informative venue where the public could learn more about orchids and purchase some (many!) to take home. Our success is entirely due to wonderful volunteers who contributed countless hours in organizing the show, and donated even more hours of sheer labor in making it happen. We want to sincerely thank all of you who have made this a successful team effort. We will acknowledge each of you by name in next month's issue. We look forward to working with you again as a team in preparing for our show in the year 2000!
YOUR SHOW IDEAS WELCOME
To all Society members:
With the show still a fresh memory, we'd like to hear your comments and suggestions. What was your favorite part of the show? What area can use some improvement?, what else would you like to see as part of the show? Any ideas for next year's theme? You can call, mail, fax, or e-mail us, and let us know what you think. Or, catch one of us at the April general meeting. Or, tell your ideas to your Show Committee chair so they can tell us at the final review meeting on Tuesday, April 20. By any means, we want to hear from YOU!
Bud Close and Cindy Hill
AOS Show Trophy for Best Exhibit: Andy's Orchids
Orchid Digest Show Trophy for Best Amateur Exhibit: San Diego County Orchid Society
Best Exhibit for Effect (Open): Andy`s Orchids
Best Exhibit for Effect (Amateur): Maharlika Group
Best Exhibit-Natural (Amateur):Marosz-Swanson
CSA Gold Medal for Best Cymbidium Exhibit: Casa de las Orquideas
Best Orchid in Show: Vanda Fuchs Fortune, Orchid House
Best Cymbidium (open): Cym. Wyaiong x Mighty Mouse, exhibited by Tom Huse
Best Hybrid Cymbidium (Amateur): Cym. Ruby Eyes, exhibited by M. & L Resurrecion
Best American Hybrid (Open): Cym. Woody Wilson 'Ann,' exhibited by Casa de las Orquideas
Best 3 Cymbidiums(open): C.Regal Ruby, C.Baltic Dew, C.Featharhill Fan Fair, exhibitors Jim and Lise Wright
Best 3 Cymbidiums (Amateur): Green Glass (Claude Pepper x Pebbles), exhibited by A. Ferrario
Best Reed Stem Epidendrum(Open): Epi Fireball, exhibited by Jim and Lise Wright
Best Colored Cattleya(open): Cattleya intermedia, exhibited by Bruce Hubbard
Best Colored Cattleya (Amateur): C. Irene Holquin, exhibited by Forrest Robinson
Best Mini Cattleya (Open): C. loddegesii, exhibited by Greg Luetticke
Best Mini Cattleya (Amateur): Lc Trick or Treat, exhibited by Pamela Peters
Best 3 Cattleyas (Open): Lc Mini Purple, Sl Isabella Stone, C. walkeriana var. coerulea, Islander Delights
Best Sophronitis hybrid (Open): Sl Isabella Stone exhibited by Islander Delights
Best Phalaenopsis (Open): Phal. Dynamite 'Red Ruby', exhibited by Fred Clarke
Best Paphiopedilum (Open and Amateur): Paph. delenatii, exhibited by Cindy Hill
Best Paphiopedilum (Open): Phragmipedium caudatum, exhibited by Orchids of Los Osos
Best Vanda Alliance (Open): V. Fuchs Fortune, exhibited by Orchid House
Best Dendrobium (Open): D. kingianum, exhibited by Andy's Orchids
Best Odontoglossum (Open): Odm. Durham Picot Sunset Giant AM/AOS, exhibited by Sunset Orchids
Most Unique Orchid (Open): Coryanthes speciosum, exhibited by Andy`s Orchids
...... More Next Month
ORCHID TALK...By Esther Sivila
When I was growing up in the Philippines we always had orchids around the house. They were either growing on the trunks and limbs of trees or they were attached to dried coconut husks and hanging up. I did not see anyone growing them in pots. We had "Sanggumay" (Dendrobium anosmum, or hono-hono) and some unnamed ones which I presumed were species. I would like to share with you some subject matters about orchids that i think you will find interesting.
Here in the U.S. my first orchid was a Cymbidium given to me as a present. Next I received some Epidendrums. I liked the Epis because they bloom all year round and dont require much care. I collected different colors of them until I had too many. After a while I decided to try some other genera so I bought my first Cattleya. The name tag said "BLC Bryce Canyon Splendiflorous". Being very naive about orchid names I asked the vendor what BLC meant. But she knew nothing of orchids besides selling them. So I went to the library, borrowed some books, also bought a few and read them. This is how I learned what I know about orchids supplemented by information received from growers everywhere, especially growers from the SDCOS.
In this column I would like to share a list of multi-generic hybrid crosses from books and publications that I have read. When I say crosses, I mean a cross between two or more genera (inter-generic), not between two varieties of the same genus. Before I start this list, I think it is a good idea to define and clarify orchid terms. Let's start with ....
Species - these are orchids (or plants, or animals) are found in their natural habitat, where no man-made cross-breeding has occurred. [Note: - Species (pronounced spee-shees) is both singular and plural. A "specie" (pronounced "spee-see") is a term for money]
Genus - a subdivision of a family, consisting of one or more species which show similar characteristics and appear to have a common ancestry Cattleya is a genus, as is Encyclia.
Genera - plural of genus. Cattleya, Encyclia, Cymbidium, Phalaenopsis, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum and Dendrobium are examples of different genera.
Clone - one genetically individual plant, and its subsequent divisions.
Division - the splitting of one plant into two or more pieces. The flowers of these divisions will always look like these of the original big plant.
Mericlone - a plant that was produced by meristem tissue culture and not from a seed pod.
Meristem - the rapidly growing and dividing cells of a plant. These are found at the tips of the roots and vegetatively active parts of the plant.
Meristem Culture - a method of producing many genetically identical plants from a superior clone. This is done in a a sterile laboratory where the meristematic tissue is removed and its cells are induced to multiply to form protocorms (tike plant embryos). These can be cut into many more small pieces and again induced to multiply. When sufficient protocorms have developed they are allowed to mature into plants, each one identical to the original done. Meristem culture lets us buy high quality orchids at a reasonable price by producing many identical plants from a single superior clone.
Cross - fertilization of an orchid flower with the pollen from a different plant to produce seed. The seeds grow into plants which carry genetic material from both parents.
Intergeneric hybrid - a hybrid (cross) made between two different genera. For example, a cross between an Epidendrum and a Cattleya is known as an Epicattleya.
Do you know that when you read the labels, the name of the pod parent (mother) is mentioned first, and then crossed (X) by the pollen parent (father)? Also, that the genus part of the orchid's name always starts with a capital letter, and the species part with a small letter? (ie. Cymbidium tracyanum, Laelia albida, Phalaenopsis ambilis, etc.)
We'll stop here and start with multigeneric names in the next issue.
~ DATES TO REMEMBER ~
April 3, 9:00 am
April 6, 7:30pm- SDCOS General
April 9--11, Palomar Orchid
April 13, 7:00 pm- SDCOS Board
April 14- Cymbidium Society
April 17 & 18 - Flower Show, Coronado
April 26, 7:00 pm
May 4, 6:00 pm
Remember to visit our SDCOS Home Page on the Internet, our Webmaster continues to create a beautiful site each month. You will see lots of orchid photos from the prize winning entries exhibited at our Orchid Oasis Show. (As time permits, I've been busy lately! - Duncan).
Next time you're hiking through Mission Trails Regional Park, the Laguna Mountains or the Anza-Borrego Desert, keep your eyes open, because there may be wild orchids underfoot. While most people think of orchids as houseplants, there are about a dozen species growing wild in San Diego County, said Dr, Peter Tobias, chairman of the San Diego County Orchid Society's conservation committee. Orchids are a spring flower here. They're probably sprouting about now, usually bloom in April, then die back to nothing but underground roots in winter.
"If you know what you're looking for, you can find it, ' he said, but "unless you happen to be there at the right moment, you're unlikely to see it." The San Diego County Orchid Society is funding a research project undertaken by Bonita Vista High School student Arietta Fleming-Davies on the Epipactis gigantea, a terrestrial orchid found growing wild near Padre Dam in Mission Trails Park.
The 1-inch flowers of the Epipactis gigantea are green, yellow and purple and grow on a stalk that reaches 3 feet.
Arietta, an 11th grader, is studying the genetic diversity of the species. Her research will be on display at the Greater San Diego Science & Engineering Fair next month.
Tobias said it's unknown how threatened the species is in San Diego County, but he said all orchids are endangered.
Arietta collected her orchid samples last October and has been analyzing them in her school's science lab using DNA amplification. "You make a whole bunch of copies of the DNA and compare to see if they're the same or different genetically. If it's the same, it means they're from the same genetic population and they're not reproducing,' she said. So far, she doesn't have definitive results, but early tests showed a lack of variation.
The orchid analysis is Arietta's fourth science fair entry and the second one on a local environmental concern. Previously, she studied the soil of the Tijuana River estuary.
"What was fun about this project is that it's local,' she said. "It's easier for me to feel like it matters, that it really has an impact.'
"EXTINCT" ORCHID REDISCOVERED
"Well, big thanks to the San Diego County Orchid Society's Conservation Funding Program! They funded me to undertake surveys in Northern New South Wales, Australia, with the intent of getting a better picture of the orchids on crown lands in that region. The funding has already paid itself handsomely, and I have barely even started. Late in September I investigated a place south of Grafton (where I live) to find a species (Pterostylis woollsii) which had only once been discovered east of the tablelands. The new population was 80 km east of the previous eastern limit, and pulled it into a vegetation type that was reasonably widespread in the region under consideration.
However, that pales into insignificance against today's discovery. In early October, I came across some plants of a sarcanthid species I believed to be Papillilabium beckleri. The plants were growing in the crown of a felled Hoop Pine, and were suffering somewhat in the exposed conditions. Or, so I thought.
Two weeks ago I got around to mounting the specimens, and placed them beside the P. beckled, at which time I also noticed they had reasonably mature inflorescences, quite unlike the P. beckled which will only start growing them in about 2 months time. Needless to say, I started getting suspicious.
This turns out to be the rediscovery of a "lost" orchid species, Sarcochilus dilatatus. This species has been collected only once in NSW, 105 years ago in what is now a sports oval for a major regional city. In fact, it had been declared extinct for NSW in the most recent Rare or Threatened Australian Plants List. This new discovery brings it not only 150 km further south, but of course makes it a little less extinct.
Again, I would like to thank the SDCOS Conservation grants scheme for funding this work, and hope that I might have a few more stories like this in the near future.
Many orchid species from Australia are space-savers, as they remain fairly compact when mature. In addition to their manageable size, most Aussie orchids give the grower a lot of pleasure because they put on a great flower show, are not fussy about how they are treated, and are tolerant of hot, dry, low-humidity summers.
Dendrobium falcorostrum is also known as the Beech Orchid. it grows almost exclusively on upper branches of Antarctic Beech trees of SE Queensland and NE New South Wales at above 800 meters elevation, its pseudobulbs are cylindrical, 5-10 inches high, erect, crowded and can form large clumps. Two to five dark green, 4-inch long leathery leaves are near the top of each psuedobulb. The raceme carries 4-20 crystalline, fragrant, 1-2 inch white flowers. The densely packed masses of blossoms are described as truly beautiful. And once you've sniffed these flowers you will want several of these plants for your collection!
I've found this plant needs to have several growths before it blooms well. it likes cool, humid conditions, and does well under the leaves of larger plants, like Cymbidiums. Keep D. falcorostrum watered well during the growing
season, with slightly less water in winter, but never let them dry out completely. The plants can tolerate temperatures below freezing, even snow, and require good air movement to thrive. This will make a delightful addition to any orchid collection.
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR ORCHIDS
A critical stage during the maturation of an orchid hobbyist is when they realize that orchid culture is rarely "by the book". Books and articles can help point the grower in the right direction, but until the hobbyist can understand what a particular orchid can achieve, and under which circumstances, good results can be largely a matter of chance.
Successful orchid culture begins with GETTING TO KNOW AN ORCHID. As each orchid genus, species, hybrid grex and clone behaves somewhat differently than close relatives, the challenge is formidable. This is why so many of us love to grow orchids for the challenge?
How do we go about getting to know an orchid? Read, discuss with other growers, do our own research. Observe daily how the plant grows and responds to our care. Keep a diary of plant behavior, blooming time, flower quality, number of leaves and growths, when it grows & when it does not. When an orchid is happy with its care and conditions, you will see the following signs: Roots grow into the potting medium or onto a mount, or even out of the pot Shoots grow sturdily. With sympodial plants (Cattleya), new growths will be more substantial than previous ones. With monopodial plants, (Phalaenopsis), new leaves are longer and wider than previous ones. Mature plants will maintain a high standard of new growth which does not diminish overtime. The plant flowers according to its type and in season. Flower quality reflects plant vigor. The orchid is less susceptible to pests and diseases.
Our challenge is to thoroughly know what each of our plants needs to thrive. Success is far more likely when we focus on orchids with similar requirements. The wise hobbyist selects only those orchids likely to flourish under their conditions, or adapts the environment to meet the needs of the selected group of orchids. When you take care to match the need of each orchid with the care you can realistically provide, it, you- and your collection are sure to be richly rewarded.
Adapted from Marilyn H.S. Light, Orchid Safari, 1998
SDCOS Board of Directors
Present: Fred Weber, Bud Close, Leno Galvan, Edith Galvan, Ben Machado, Alma Marosz, Cindy Hill, and Siv Garrod.
Meeting called to order at 7:03 P.M.
1. Last meetings minutes were read and
approved after some changes.
1. Ben Machado received a letter form
Zuma Canyon and he will proceed with the organization of
a bus trip for the society members. More details later.
The meeting was adjourned 7:35 P.M. Submitted by Siv Garrod
TO-DO ORCHID CHECKLIST
Cattleya: The last of the winter-flowering hybrids will join the earliest of the spring hybrids in a wonderful display Be on the alert for senescing sheaths that need removal. If these yellowing sheaths are not removed, the moisture they trap can lead to bud rot. Changing light conditions can also be a problem. An exceptionally bright day, especially immediately following a rain, can lead to sunburn of the foliage if shading is not attended to properly. Lengthening days will mean increased metabolic rates necessitating increased water and fertilizer. It is also the time to be on the lookout for plants that will need repotting after they bloom.
Cymbidium: Plants should be putting on a spectacular show this time of year. Adjust all staking and twist-ties and be on the lookout for aphids, slugs and snails. Give adequate water because flowering strains the plants. As new growths appear, increase the nitrogen level in the fertilizer. Should a plant look healthy but not be blooming, try increasing the light during the next growing season. The number one reason for no flowers is lack of light.
Paphiopedilum: Now is the time to look at each plant, is it clean of dead and dying foliage? Is it weed-free? Does it need repotting? Is it in spike? Does it have an insect problem? Cleaning and restaging your paphs is one of the most satisfying tasks of the orchid year. Clean and potted paphiopedilums look happy. Increasing light levels should give emerging spikes the strength they need to grow straight and strong. Do not be tea anxious to stake the spikes, because if they are staked too soon, the flowers will develop a 'nodding' stance, where the dorsal will not stand upright, if the spikes seem to develop at an angle, let them, and stake after the flower has hardened for best carriage.
Phalaenopsis: Staking needs to be carefully attended to, so the flowers will be displayed at their best. Rapid-growing spikes and open flowers place extra demands on the plant. Careful monitoring of watering and feeding will give the plants the energy they require to give their best floral display. Remember, too, that the lengthening days will also increase the frequency at which plants need water. Beware of the invasion of sucking pests that accompany the flowering season. Flowers and spikes are favorite targets of mealybugs and scales. Be on the lookout for their presence, often indicated by the appearance of sooty mold resulting from the exudate of the bugs, and treat before flowers or buds are too advanced, if flowers and buds are too far along, the chemical treatment may damage or abort them.
Miltoniopsis: Amazing displays of color will dazzle the grower over the next few months. Prepare your plants for optimum display by staking spikes (if needed) and cleaning off the older yellow foliage. Do not miss the wonderful fragrance as the flowers unfold.
Book Review by Sue Volek
Have you been hearing about the novel entitled 'The Orchid Thief' by Susan Orlean? A book review from the New York Times plus one from our local Union has stimulated interest among our orchid growing community. Our member, Sue Volek, a former editor, reed the book and reviews it here for our members:
Susan Orlean should have quit while she was ahead. The Orchid Thief makes an interesting tale told in a magazine, as Orlean did in her New Yorker story, but it wears a mite thin when stretched to 284 pages. I've been an editor a lot longer than Ive been growing orchids, so my opinion is based more on literary merit than horticultural wisdom. Orlean's prose is competent and occasionally amusing, but the personal experience minutiae she injects into every chapter turns the narrative into a "what I did on my summer vacation" report relieved only periodically by her main character's activities. The story simply lacks the framework of a basic plot beyond the occasional peccadilloes of renegade plant dealer John Larouche. As far as botany is concerned, Orlean makes no pretense at expertise, although she thanks Ned Nash of the American Orchid Society for his review of her text. To be fair, Orlean doesn't claim that she knows a broughtonia from a grammatophyllum and makes no pretense of rhapsodizing over the plants we orchid addicts find so enticing. If we're honest, we aficionados also have to admit to our occasional eccentricities. But all in all, there's not much of a story here, so borrow the book, don't buy it.
"SERVICE TO OUR MEMBERS SECTION"
HELP HOTLINE: The SDCOS offers a service to members who seek cultural information about their orchids. Here are some friendly hobbyists who have a great deal of experience and knowledge about certain types of orchids, and who have kindly volunteered to answer your questions. There are no commercial growers on this list.
Oncidium/Odontoglossum, and Vandaceous, Greenhouse grown,
West SD county Forrest Robinson - (619) 270-6105
San Diego County
These are many of the
hard-working volunteers that keep our Society running.
There are many others with no titles that help these
folks make it happen. You are invited to help. Ask any of
these people how.